Message – Advent III -December 13, 2020

Brothers and Sisters,

A note of urgency is sounded in the Collect for Advent 3.  Two weeks of preparation have passed, and if we have failed to make the best use of the time, we are given a strong reminder that serious and urgent action to get us ready is required.   It cannot simply be left to us, and our feeble efforts, so the request is that God’s power and might will come among us to assist in getting the job done.  Our efforts are weak, because our sins sorely hinder us from putting in the time, the energy and the zeal that are needed to put our lives in order for the coming of Jesus, whether as King and Judge at the last day, or as Saviour and Redeemer, which is the emphasis in the Christmas season.  We are to be well prepared and fully ready, but the indications are that we are slow in getting off the mark, and we are weighed down by burdens that impede our progress.

A passionate plea is then being made by Anglicans across the Church in the Province of the West Indies, that the pace and the seriousness of our preparation will change with God’s help.  Whereas we were quite happy in Advent 1 and Advent 2 to say “give us grace”, now we are required to say, “let your bountiful grace and mercy” speedily help and deliver us.  To ‘grace’, we have added ‘mercy’, and the introduction of the word ‘speedily’ emphasizes the urgency that is needed.  You will understand as we examine this collect why it is necessary to embrace not only its words, but also its spirit.  Perhaps it may not be a bad idea to say the collect together as a closing prayer just before the blessing.

This past year the attention of the world was turned to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Here at home, we are not only concerned with this pandemic but also we continue to be troubled by the rising tide of murders and other criminal activities.   How urgent it is now that the people of God call on the Prince of Peace to come among us, to purge the evil from our midst, and to bring peace to our troubled land.

I am convinced more than ever that we must engage urgently and zealously in God’s Mission to our people and the peoples of the world and pray without ceasing for God’s Grace and Mercy during these troubling times.

Think on these things!